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Occupational exposure and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a multicentre case-control study in Korea

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SETTING: Multicentred hospital-based cases and control subjects in Korea.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and hazardous materials to which people are occupationally exposed.

DESIGN: A multicentre, hospital-based, matched case-control study was performed. The ratio of IPF cases to controls was 1:1 (n = 78 in each group). IPF cases and controls were matched in terms of age group, sex and place of residence. Conditional logistic regression analysis was performed.

RESULTS: In simple logistic regression analysis, exposure to metal dust and any exposure for >1 year in an occupational setting were significantly associated with IPF (metal dust OR 4.00, 95%CI 1.34–11.97; any exposure OR 3.67, 95%CI 1.02–13.14). After adjustment for environmental and military exposures and smoking history, the OR for metal dust exposure was 4.97 (95%CI 1.36–18.17) in multiple logistic regression analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Metal dust was associated with incident IPF in Seoul and Gyeonggi Provinces in Korea. This information will be used to support a tailored preventive strategy in specific industries or occupations.

Keywords: IPF; case-control study; epidemiology; metals; occupational exposure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea; Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea 2: Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea<; Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea 3: Department of Internal Medicine, Yeouido St Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea 4: Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea 5: Department of Internal Medicine, Bucheon St Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, South Korea 6: Department of Internal Medicine, Incheon St Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Incheon, South Korea 7: Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul St Mary's Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea 8: Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Ulsan, Republic of Korea

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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